Area, State fishing report (Nov. 9)

November 8, 2012 

Estuary

Look for | Spotted seatrout, red drum, flounder, black drum, sheepshead, spots.

Comments | On a Sunday trip to Winyah Bay and North Inlet, Capt. Mike McDonald of Gul-R-Boy Guide Service produced 28 spotted seatrout including 15 keepers over the 14-inch minimum size limit using grubs on 1/4-ounce jig heads. Such fine catches of trout have been common from Georgetown to Brunswick County, N.C. Plus, red drum catches have been good, with flounder still available in the inlets. “The reds are in the process of going into winter mode, gathering up in groups,” McDonald said. The water temperature was below normal as of Thursday morning – in the mid to upper 50-degree range. “That’s December-type stuff and here it is the first of November,” McDonald said. Jackie Pusser of Perry’s reports catches of trout on grubs, Mirrolures and live shrimp are very good in Murrells Inlet with reds and flounder also available. Catches of spots appear to be on the upswing. “The spots are starting to move in,” Pusser said. “They ought to be here by the weekend pretty good.”

Inshore

Look for | Whiting, black drum, weakfish, spots, flounder, pompano, sheepshead.

Comments | Catches of spots have been, well, spotty this week off Grand Strand piers. There have been instances of good catches on various piers but nothing that constitutes a good solid run of the panfish. Best catches on the piers have been of whiting, black drum, blues and spots, with flounder, weakfish, spotted seatrout, sheepshead and pompano also available. Look for weakfish, also known as summer trout or grey trout, on hard-bottom areas near the beach. The daily bag limit for weakfish is one fish per person with a 12-inch minimum size limit. Black sea bass are off-limits until June 1, 2013. Near-shore artificial reefs are producing flounder, weakfish and black sea bass . The ocean water temperature at Apache Pier was 59.14 degrees at 9:30 a.m. Thursday.

Offshore

Look for | King mackerel, wahoo, blackfin tuna, dolphin, grouper, vermilion snapper, amberjack, triggerfish.

Comments | With conditions finally looking better for the weekend in the wake of Sandy followed by a Nor’easter, look for more typical good fall action for kings in depths of 55 to 80 feet of water. Near the Gulf Stream, wahoo, blackfin tuna and dolphin are available for trolling boats. Bottom fishing is very good for grouper, vermilion snapper, amberjack, triggerfish and porgy. The red snapper fishery is closed indefinitely.

Freshwater

Look for | Bream, crappie, bass, catfish.

Comments | “That’s the going thing this week, everything has moved out deeper,” said Jay Booth of Fishermen’s Headquarters in Conway regarding bream fishing. The standard top areas are producing good catches of bream, morgans and shellcracker including Yauhannah, Samworth, Bucksport, Ricefields and the Punch Bowl vicinity. On Saturday, Luke Cannon of Conway landed 28 morgans and bream in the Punch Bowl vicinity in 10 feet of water on worms and then moved to Bucksport on Sunday where he caught 15 in 6-7 feet of water, also on worms. Crappie action continues to be good, with fish biting minnows 5-6 feet below the surface around ditch mouths, brush piles and boat docks. Booth described action for bass and catfish as fair to good. Don McCloud of Conway won the weekly bass tournament with a three-fish aggregate of 5.38 pounds. The tournament will be held Saturday at Bucksport from safe light to 2 p.m.

By Gregg Holshouser, For The Sun News

State fishing

Santee Cooper System | Crappie: Good to very good. Capt. Steve English reports that, when winds allow boats out on the water, crappie fishing has been strong and fish are really ganged up on brushpiles. Minnows have been working too well to try anything else. Bream: Good. Capt. English reports bream are stacked up on mid-depth brush piles in 20-30 feet of water. Fish about 14-20 feet deep with crickets. Catfish: Slow to fair. Capt. Jim Glenn reports that there is no real productive Santee Cooper catfish pattern to fish most of the time right now, and cooling water temperatures will have fish scattered until later in the winter. Largemouth bass: Slow. Capt. Glenn reports that generally bass fishing has been considered slow recently. Falling water temperatures will see the bite improve around visible woody and vegetated locations before water temperatures drop below 60. Both spinnerbaits and crankbaits will work well.

S.C. DNR

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